Published: 2018-03-26 14:27
Last Updated: 2018-03-26 14:44
Egyptians voters headed to the polls on Monday morning as the three-day presidential race kicked off.
President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi is going head to head with leader of the liberal al-Ghad party, Musa Mustafa, who, according to Egyptian news outlet Youm7, had voiced support for Sisi up until he decided to run for President.
Current President Sisi, who is widely expected to win for a second fourth-term, casted his vote in Cairo this morning, according to the state TV.
Meanwhile, Tamer Rifai, a spokesperson for the army, said that security forces were deployed to “ensure a safe environment for Egyptian voters.”
The military also confirmed deploying special vehicles around the country to ensure a “secure climate” for Egyptians to vote, Reuters reported.
On the other hand, the eight opposition parties in Egypt have called for a boycott of the election, urging Egyptians to “Stay at Home,” after accusing the government of preventing “any fair competition,” according to Al Jazeera.
On Twitter, the hashtag “Ma Tenzelsh-Stay at Home” became the second most trending hashtag in the Egyptian capital, Cairo by Monday morning.
An Egyptian human rights lawyer and activist, Mai El-Sadany, wrote on Twitter: “The hashtag #متنزلش, currently trending at number 2 in Cairo, lists a number of reasons as to why some people are choosing to boycott this year's presidential election. The reasons include the 60K detainees, the security situation, Tiran-Sanafir, and the state of the economy.”
In response, Sisi’s campaign spokesman confirmed that the government did not prevent any candidates from running in the election. Additionally, the military warned that they are monitoring local and foreign media coverage of the election, using a special media center that was set up especially for the event and operate around the clock.
In the run-up to the election, six candidates announced that they will be running against Sisi, before all of them withdrew for different reasons.